David Slays Goliath. -With Superior Nutrition?:
So according to their own press-release, a big change happened back in July. Halo Top became the highest-selling ice cream in the country.
Which is a pretty amazing feat at only 5 years in business for Halo.
And the biggest factor in its success is the product is ASTOUNDINGLY low on calories.
So then the big question becomes, despite being in the Frozen Desert Category which is chockablock with brain-killers,
Does this mean you can actually call Halo Top “Healthy”?…
Them’s Fightin’ Words!:
The word “Healthy” on a dessert may not turn out to be a good idea.
But it’s hard to argue with the label on the ice-cream.
For many of their simple products, Halo Top says something like “240” right on the front. -And that’s for the whole pint!
They could have taken an even more aggressive stance, used the industry-standard portion-size of 1/2 cup,
And put an Even Smaller number on the front like, “60“. -That would really grab eyeballs.
But Can You Argue With Those Numbers?:
So here’s the thing, those numbers like 240 or 60 are made up of much smaller ones.
And they hold the key, and also the liability to any healthy claims.
Because whether nutritionists like the implied-context of the label or not,
–That you could eat A Whole Pint of Halo Top for the same calories as 1 scoop of Ben & Jerry’s or Ĥääġëñ-Ďäźş,
They DO get there through better nutrition, and using MUCH less of everything that goes into ice-cream,
Especially the stuff that can hurt you.
Making The Best Of A Bad Situation:
And that bad stuff in desserts is usually:
2) Saturated Fat
Halo Top uses less of all 3.
And when you compare it to its competitors, it’s not even close.
It has only 10% of the Saturated-Fat, Zero Trans-Fat, and 1/4 the Sugar of the Ben & Jerry’s or Häägën-Däzs premium brands.
And it probably has fewer bad ingredients than all of the cheaper brands.
(+it better, because that price on it isn’t cheap, either.)
Is “Actual Nutrition” An Appropriate Comparison?:
Now this may be just the tacitly-implied, “Eat A Whole Pint!” context coming back, but a few nutritional consultants have opined on Halo Top.
And if you compare it to 240 calories of actual normal dinner food, they’re right that it’s not even close.
But nobody does that.
And people who sit down to a whole pint of ice cream have bigger problems than dietary grammar-nazis.
Getting “Too Much” Protein:
Is there too much protein in it? -No.
Any normal serving of HT, or even the whole pint will not get the average person an excess of protein.
20 grams of it equates to about a small protein bar that’s 1/2 of a big MetRX.
If you’re a non-weight-lifting civilian who’s getting more than 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight,
And not drinking the 1+ gallon of water a day needed to help your kidneys process it,
Then yes, you are getting too much protein. Otherwise, it is a problem most people are unlikely to have.
What About Artificial Sweeteners?:
Now this is the point where the nutritionists are really onto something.
Although Stevia looks like the savior of all artificial sweeteners (Thank You, Cargill) and the Euro equivalent of the FDA had it on the GRAS list for years,
We really don’t know the final answer.
Also, the biggest recent problem discovered with artificial sweeteners is they don’t let you lose weight,
Because they ruin your gut microbes!
So you keep getting fat anyway.
Stevia, Erythritol & A Healthy Gut:
Does Stevia, or the other sweetener in Halo Top, the sweet-alcohol called Erythritol do the same thing?
At least a few preliminary studies say that Erythritol is not metabolized at-all & passes right through you.
And Stevia only affects 1 type of gut microbe (L. Reuteri), perhaps only very slightly.
But just-in-case, taking your probiotics or Kefir regularly to get-back that cholesterol-killing Reuteri is still a great idea.
No Free Lunch, But Damn-Close:
So, until a miracle occurs, there is unlikely to be a participant in the dessert space, especially the saturated-fat-laden Ice Cream space, that you could actually call “Healthy”.
And not everything Halo Top uses is home-run perfect.
But they do appear to be using the best of most of what’s available,
While minimizing all the downsides of everyone’s favorite dessert, especially the killer parts.
So don’t run out there & eat a whole pint if you can help it.
But if you’re watching Love Actually after a bad breakup, Halo Top could be the safest option for that inevitable binge.
Check out the rest of the details in the Links:
Photo Credits: Publicity still of vanilla & chocolate pint containers with cones, by Halo Top’s Facebook Photo Page
• Source: Time
• More Coverage: BusinessWire | Halo Top Creamery
• Study Sources: PubMed-Metabolism of erythritol in humans: comparison with glucose and lactitol | Stevia Starves L.Reuteri Gut Microbe